FEATURED: An Open Letter To National Security Minister Albert Kan Dapaah!!!...

29.03.2019 Feature Article

The America That Is Not For Me: Part 21

The America That Is Not For Me: Part 21

A representative from the State arrived in the company’s Main Office with a mandate to train and prepare employees for the QMAP certification.

In line with this mandate, the Manager scheduled each employee for the class depending on the specifics of formal employee shift arrangements and of the situation particularities associated with the scheduled availability of the assigned State representative.

State guidelines strictly forbade those scheduled for the class from working the night before their class. Contrary to these State guidelines, the Manager made me work the night prior to my scheduled class. She programmed the schedules leaving no space for anyone to work in my place the night before my scheduled class. On the other hand she made sure that no other staff faced this draconian dilemma. So I went directly to my scheduled class once I got off my overnight shift.

Mentally and physically and emotionally speaking, ten hours of uninterrupted work completely got me fagged out when I entered the class―to the extent that I helplessly dozed off betimes throughout the excruciating length of the class. I tuned in to the class once I regained my senses.

Why did she make me work the night before my scheduled class? My understanding was that she knew she was the only one available to cover for me at the time once she had everyone else, save me, already scheduled for the class. Her main argument was that because she was a salaried employee, it didn’t make sense for her to take on additional shifts in the Trumpian fleapit since she didn’t incur extra remuneration. That was how she managed to finagle her way into the hearts and minds of naïve and desperate employees. And in so doing, she got to mold these employees into her capricious cauldron of demanding expectations. Her strategically and carefully orchestrated Machiavellian machinations against imagined and real enemies in the Trumpian fleapit merely sustained her egoistic hunger for absolute control of organizational politics.

But she was no match for Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.

Given her unreserved knowledge of my industry and reliability and honesty, I wondered why she didn’t acknowledge, let alone appreciate the many courtesies I extended her in her busy moments in particular and the Trumpian fleapit in general. I understood then why she had refused to answer emergency phone calls during my overnight shifts―although she was on call around the clock. I still could never bring myself to excuse my failure to fully acquaint myself with the letter and spirit of State regulations and guidelines governing the character of the State-approved class. She won on account of my dereliction. I blamed myself for allowing her to use me again.

The scheming genius privately shared what her staff needed to know about the class except me. I was in the kitchen with the male staff putting the finishing touches to my paperwork when the Manager, the scheming genius, called him to inform him about an upcoming make-up class. I heard their conversation in its entirety because he had her on speakerphone unintentionally. I called her on my way home to inquire about this class without specifically mentioning the word make-up. I wanted to see whether she was going to narrow my inquiring generalities to specifics. “No class whatsoever!” she lied through her tobacco-stained teeth, neither confirming nor denying the existence of any such make-up class.

I excused myself and hung up the phone, continuing my drive home unperturbed.

It turned out that she’d already called the male staff the night before and told him about the make-up class. The second phone conversation which I overheard that morning was merely a confirmation call about this make-up class and when it was to be held. Low-level staff members weren’t privy to these indispensable changes because they were communicated directly to house managers.

Some of these house managers allowed this limited access to privileged information accorded them by management to go to their heads. These narcissistic persons completely forgot that they were merely plebeian harbingers running errands in an oppressively-hot-and-humid sun for their insouciant bosses who sheltered themselves in the well-furnished comfort of their air-conditioned offices.

It was not even that the white doves in the White House of the Trumpian fleapit valued the humanity of these drapetomaniac house managers who refused to stay in their lane―their place. The Manager’s indentured status as a crafty overseer of plantation employees in the White House of the Trumpian fleapit made her see every member of her chattel staff as her personal property. She even went as far as to call the white bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. found perching on either the coal-black mahogany table or the pitch-black lectern, both of which the white doves romantically kept in the White House of the Trumpian fleapit and obsessively worshipped years on end, “the black Abraham Lincoln,” the infamous anti-hero and celebrated curmudgeon at the center of Lerone Bennett, Jr.’s controversial tome Forced into Glory: Abraham Lincoln's White Dream.

House managers religiously read this book to the dead and buried Abe before retiring to their bedrooms. But as might be expected from experience, they never bothered to read this book to themselves.

The Manager’s speedy readiness to label Malcolm X, a product of American racism, white trash constituted a dangerously insensitive characterization of an important cultural and historical icon, perhaps a grave corruption of her historical consciousness and misplaced sense of moral outrage.

Her infatuation with the white doves’ impulsive painting of their faces in the broad color spectrum of rainbow diversity, an act she took as open invitation to multicultural socialization, nearly resulted in fomenting moral panic in the Trumpian fleapit.

She compensated for this complex act of lost identity by wearing a thousand veneers of Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks, thus making it possible for some of her staff to take Du Bois’s double consciousness a smidgen more seriously. Her white-dove bosses, of course, wore Bruce Wright’s Black Robes, White Justice as part of their political and social promotion of polychromatic diversity in the White House of the Trumpian fleapit.

These hypocritical acts came to define the conservative politics of plantation or chattel economy in the White House of the Trumpian fleapit.

The Manager used the so-called Malcolm X tissue paper to wipe the bathroom floors of the Trumpian fleapit White House as part of his underground conspiratorial designation as white trash.

Again I strongly objected to her unaffectionate usage of this phraseology, for I did not consider any human being, black or white or rainbow, trash or illegitimate in my existential worldview.

Apparently she did not care about political correctness as her camarilla of white-dove supervisors maintained their grip on their plantation employees through the skewed politics of language, with this calculating gangdom of white-dove supervisors using her and others just like her to effectively run their clandestine engine of indirect rule in the White House of the Trumpian fleapit.

A useful idiot!
One would have thought that she would readily embrace her titular designation of useful idiot, but no, instead she fought tooth and nail against it.

On the other hand the male staff, for one, referred to her in private conversations as a criminal mastermind, the Jerry Springer Show, evil genius, virago, pure evil, right-wing populist, village idiot, unstable genius. Incredibly, I descried a strong sense of odium for her in these designations, all of which I objected to without reservation. I didn’t think she had to be disrespected because someone justifiably disagreed with her unscrupulous, wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing tactics.

But like her, I strongly objected to this offensive phrasal designation―useful idiot. And she knew this for a fact, a good reason for her to bury her disgraceful coffin of this offensive phrasal designation and overbearing multiple selves in a soiled chamberpot of wicked conspiratorial fantasies.

These wicked conspiratorial whispers included one outstanding controversy about my virtual exclusion from the circle of privileged information, a specific question relating to the State-sponsored class, turned me into a Dalit. Except for one female staff whose pangs of conscience drove her to tell me about everything I needed to know about the make-up class only after it’d already taken place without me, the rest ignored me as though I was plagued with leprosy.

My unfair treatment at the hands of the Manager and her straggle of obsequious disciples drove her to put aside her sense of discretion and undivided loyalty to the Manager, in order for her to muster up the courage to tell me everything about the package of inside decisions and reasons that ultimately led to my planned exclusion from the make-up class, a plan she subsequently regretted taking part in. This staff became my resourceful deep-throat link to the Manager’s Comintern. She too, like the fired low-level female employee, was very close to the Manager whom I met some days following the unveiling of these scandalous revelations. I feigned ignorance of the facts even as we exchanged pleasantries. I had taken the State-administered exam in the Main Office and passed it when we met, having obtained copies of the handouts from the State’s website and thoroughly studying the material on my own without the benefit of the pedagogical comprehensiveness of the make-up class. “Hi Francis,” she said with an edge of hauteur in her voice. “How are you?”

“I am fine. And you?”
“Not doing well.”
“Is anything the matter, ma’am?”
“Francis I desperately need your help,” she said with a tired, downcast visage. “I’ve flunked the State exam twice. I need your help to pass this exam on the third and, hopefully, the final try. I feel so dumb.”

“No need to worry. Flunking an exam does not mean one is dumb. People flunk exams all the time. And people flunk exams for all kinds of reasons; some of these reasons are circumstances within their control, others certainly beyond their control. Flunking exams is painfully natural, even normal if you like. I mean, flunking exams is painful but a natural attribute of human development, of the human experience. Geniuses flunk exams; others with normal intelligence also flunk exams. Some geniuses are simply terrible exam takers; and there are others with normal intelligence who are expert exam takers. Besides, we’ve all flunked exams before. You merely have to get yourself adequately prepared to retake the exam.”

“Thanks for your encouraging words.”
“Don’t mention it.”
“Thanks again.”
“I am not good at taking exams but I think I can walk you through the material.”

She had to pass the exam by any means necessary to forestall her removal from her much-vaunted height of a house manager in the Trumpian fleapit to a possible subordinate position in an unacquainted environment. This was why I agreed to help. Strangely, she always split town when I was to meet with her to go over the material. However, I never knew she saw me as a major threat to her office although, for all practical purposes, I wasn’t interested in this office, and never had been. Her major reason for undermining my industrial efforts, it seemed to me then and now, including her tactical placement of stumbling blocks in my paths, was for me to fail the exam so that I became the one who eventually ended up being removed from the Trumpian fleapit.

Thus she privately entertained my continued employment only to the extent that it kept the Trumpian fleapit clean and in order while, on the other hand, she covertly tailored the plotted coordinates of insidious circumstances to my potential removal from the Trumpian fleapit as the only spectral bane who presented himself as a shining symbol of the most formidable kind of threat to the perceived authority of her official comfort. What she probably didn’t know was that what I wanted to be or become in life outstripped the structural parochiality and provinciality of her office.

The worst was yet to come, however. My visitor finally arrived and I informed the contumacious Manager about it. It wasn’t long before the unthinkable happened. I was on the verge of clocking out when I received an expected call from the Manager. It was past 8am now. “Don’t clock out yet Francis,” she instructed, “can you accompany Vanessa and one of our charges to the hospital?” A clear violation of our unwritten agreement! The sad part of this evolving drama was that she’d already detailed Vanessa on this arrangement the day before. Yet she kept this prior arrangement from me. She did this to me all the time knowing fully well that, her having any early discussions with me about tasks to be executed on the heels of my getting off work, stood a better chance of meeting my disapproval in accordance with the letter and spirit of our agreement that clearly stipulated that I leave the premises at 8am once my visitor arrived.

Of course she chose to do this to me in particular without conforming to any sense of official decency and professional sensitivity to the cultural ethos of time, without regard for my right to prosecute my pressing personal engagements on my own terms outside the demanding time constraints imposed by officialdom, and without appealing to her humaneness and qualm―if she had any.

Caprice and self-absorption drove her misplaced sense of entitlement, with those who sang her praises getting sucked into the culvert of her exaggerated sense of entitlement.

The Möbius loop of this unconscionable manager stole the gathering centers of Manning Marable’s Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, Keith Richburg’s Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa, Jennifer L. Eberhardt’s Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice that Shapes What We See, Think, and Do, Albert Woodfox’s Solitary: Unbroken by Four Decades in Solitary Confinement. My Story of Transformation and Hope, and Barry Meier’s Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America’s Opioid Epidemic to feed the starving autosarcophagy of her survivor’s guilt and the genuflecting yes-men of her plantation backwater. This woman should have been amongst the student audience when Dr. Susan Bonini, of the Anschutz Medical Campus, University of Colorado, delivered a passionate defense of author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s influential Ted Talk presentation―“The Danger of a Single Story.”

In spite of the fact that she flagrantly violated our agreement, I honored her request after my protestations fell on deaf ears. I still gave her all the respect she deserved in the world although she never reciprocated it. I accompanied the staff in question and four of our charges, dropping off the staff and one of our charges first for a medical appointment and then driving the remaining three to school.

I drove back to the Trumpian fleapit, clocked out and went home in keeping with another salient stipulation of our agreement.

The next day I was called into the Main Office to meet with the Manager’s immediate supervisor and the human resources director. I didn’t know what this was all about. Initially the Manager falsely accused me of stealing company money redounding from the extra work I did for the company each hour following my normal hours of work. The scandalous allegation fell apart once the Manager realized formally acknowledging the extra work I did each week to keep the Trumpian fleapit clean and in order, and even congratulating me profusely for those practical efforts on my part.

Why the sudden volte-face now?
It was this same Jezebel of the American Bible Belt who had told me via her arthropod mouthparts that, of all things, the low-level female employee wasn’t coming back to work for the company any more although, ironically, she had already told her, the low-level female employee, in no uncertain terms that she was returning to the company in just three days. And the low-level female employee believed her unconditionally. Why she chose to believe her in the first place was difficult for anyone to understand or explain, for the Manager didn’t have the authority to make that executive decision of bringing her back. Besides, she knew too much for the Manager’s comfort, an excellent reason for the Manager to see her go for good. The Manager, therefore, sold her that fetching claptrap as part of her self-aggrandizing personality―on the cheap.

In spite of my knowledge of all the relevant facts in the matter, I didn’t know how to break the news of her employment termination to her! So I let it be!

I met with the Manager’s immediate supervisor and the human resources director for our scheduled meeting in the latter’s office. Technically, it meant that the Manager’s immediate supervisor had a witness in the person of the human resources director, both of whom were white. But I did not. This was strategic on their part. In terms of their ability to vouch for each other’s statements in the specific context of their professional mutual bondability as well as in the general context of what actually transpired during our meeting, the awkward arrangement gave them a tactical advantage over me.

And of course, the two were technically three―the two plus the virtual inclusion of the Manager.

I was outnumbered.
The Sanhedrin of two charged me with two infractions. First, I was told I’d spoken to my hoity-toity manager in a loud voice. It was never explained to me what “loud voice” was. Second, I was informed that I refused to accompany a staff and a charge for a medical appointment when the Manager asked me to―contrary to all of the available evidence scattered all over the place. I was then asked to read and sign a couple of documents formally acknowledging my “crimes.” I was shocked at these brazen allegations and offered to explain my side of events, politely asking: “Could you please give me the opportunity to present my version as I did not either talk to my manager in a loud voice or refuse to accompany the staff to the hospital for our charge’s medical appointment?”

Management had done everything to support and protect my manager because she reportedly cut corners on certain deals that saved the company lots of money. “We’re not here for your side of the story,” my manager’s immediate supervisor cut me off. “We’ve no time. Read and sign the documents.”

I burst into tears, signing the documents on the spur of the moment―literally without thinking. A mixture of anger, frustration, occupational injustice, emotional exhaustion, and failure of the two to exercise procedural justice as part of the arbitration process completely denied my presence of mind any chance of assertive functionality, impairing my judgment and opening the floodgates of my emotions.

I left the office still in tears and a few days later I called the Main Office and made an appointment to see the CEO of the company. Others speculated that I was going to chicken out of my scheduled meeting at the eleventh hour but I didn’t. Much to my surprise, the CEO also wasn’t interested in or even prepared to listen to a detailed account of my side of the story either.

Was it a tactically planned conspiracy to only listen to one of their own, to the exclusion of others?

Which deeply flawed leadership and management philosophies informed the psycho-emotional and intellectual caliber of their professional, institutional, or organizational worldviews?

Could one usefully have assumed that the strange and irresponsible behaviors of the CEO, the Manager, the Manager’s immediate supervisor, and the human resources director were a clear case of the colorability of professional incompetence? No, it couldn’t have been the professional incompetence of the CEO. Certainly, professional incompetence couldn’t have been a member of his cluster of attributes given my private opinion of him as a man of tremendous mental or intellectual capacity.

But if it wasn’t professional incompetence, then what was it? Could it be that I was rather the incompetent one? Was I within my rights to tag my superiors as incompetent? Maybe I shouldn’t have referred to the CEO as such because, unlike the Manager and the Manager’s immediate supervisor and the human resources director whom I knew from the direct context of our working relationships, I didn’t know him up close and personal, for I was dealing with real human beings with character flaws and not with stock characters and crisis actors with infallible natures.

Taking advantage of the platform of moral suasion to guide their twisted worldviews wasn’t on their minds.

Otherwise, could it be that their impregnable professional identities and mindsets had been contaminated by the spirit of impurity from the la-di-la Donald Trump? What did Americans see in Trump to vote for him? Did we actually need David C. Johnston’s It’s Even Worse than You Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America to tell us we had been wrong all along? It was, however, clear that the CEO’s churlish decision not to listen to what I had to say about an important matter of which he was only tangentially informed, forcefully spoke to the entitlement attitude and domineering and contumelious corporate character of the American mind.

In New York, for instance, I had to resign four months into my new employment role as a health professional because I was forced to do my colleague’s paperwork with less pay. Again in New York, I also had to spend at most five hours of my time every week during the long period of my employment tenure doing work intended for two employees, without pay. In both instances, my immediate supervisors refused to listen to my protestations, whereas in the latter case the CEO asked me to put an immediate stop to doing overtime work without pay. Surprisingly, my remonstrations against unfair treatment at the hands of my insouciant supervisors would merely reproduce themselves in a characteristic rhythm of striking exactness in the cruel character of the Manager several years later.

On the other hand the CEO’s condescending behavior, possibly drawing upon American exceptionalism, reflected on the behaviors of the company’s managers. “There is no way an ant could ever beget an elephant,” I reminded one of my co-employees. "Neither can a crab beget a bird." What the CEO was in terms of the professional genome of his organizational character, the managers largely were, except perhaps the self-effacing and hospitable Hispanic manager. Condescension as a distasteful character trait permeated the official gene pool of management. Some low-level employees began to sponge up these distasteful traits, uncritically internalizing these traits in such a way that they became part and parcel of their evolving characterological makeups, but then they seriously overlooked the harmful signification of their brazen acts of appropriating the negative fixtures of an elitist culture.

This level of characterological fetishism became the order of the day. In a sense, the microcosmic character in charge of the particularity of the American mind and the macrocosmic character of the American state shared a verisimilitude of philosophic and ideological likeness. The macrocosmic character of the American state had been the leading cause of death for functioning democracies around the world, replacing these erstwhile democracies with bloodsucking dictatorships and breaking citizens in these vanquished democracies. The macrocosmic character of the American state had made excellent use of targeted killings, drone assassinations, extrajudicial killings, moral diplomacy, slavery, economic sabotage, colonialism, political corruption, imperialism, torture by proxy, character assassination, neocolonialism, industrial espionage, extraordinary rendition, false arrest and imprisonment, and the CIA’s so-called executive actions to achieve these illegal aims across the board.

The macrocosmic gangsta character of the American state apparatus then became clear from the viewpoint of militarism, profiteering, bureaucratic corruption, unregulated greed, propaganda, war economy, economic and industrial warfare. Michael Crichton’s classic novel Rising Sun offers readers a striking glimpse into the complex question of competitive rivalry among nations.

Of course, we had all been complicit in the prosecution of these illegal acts through the elective franchise and taxes.

These illegal actions had produced client states, stooges or shills, and citizens with inferiority complexes. Character assassination became my manager’s favorite modus operandi, a relic of an illegal act of subversion directly traceable to the macrocosmic character of the American state. American CEOs, managers, supervisors, and corporations still employ more refined versions of these illegal acts to control, break, and belittle others they find threatening for whatever reasons, for I had these ideas in mind when I went to the Main Office for my scheduled meeting. Principled, no-nonsense persons caused them discomfort. Because the CEO said he was not ready to listen to my side, I cut to the chase by letting him know that camera evidence from both the Trumpian fleapit and our charges’ school should vindicate me, that the staff at our charges’ school and my colleague whom I’d accompanied to the hospital could testify on my behalf, that the Manager forced me to work in stark contravention of State regulations, and that I wanted out of the Trumpian fleapit for good after all is said and done, for I didn’t want to work with her anymore.

I was transferred to another house immediately.
But how does one fairly adjudicate a case without listening to all the parties involved? I vigorously pursued justice through the august office of another manager, a Hispanic immigrant sympathetic to all immigrants particularly Africans, and presented my case to her. This manager shared the same building with the Manager’s immediate supervisor and the human resources director. Because she and I probably spoke the same powerful language of the immigrant experience, I thought reaching out to her directly via our shared professional bond as well as through the spatial propinquity she, the Manager’s immediate supervisor, and the human resources director shared in the same company building might do the trick. I made the right decision.

There was incontrovertible camera evidence showing when I left the Trumpian fleapit with a staff and four charges and thence to a hospital for the charge’s appointment, when I dropped three charges off at their school, when I drove back to the Trumpian fleapit, when I clocked out and when I finally walked out of the Trumpian fleapit, with additional confirmatory data from the van’s GPS tracking system and my handwritten documentation of that morning’s itinerary in a logbook kept in the van. My signature accompanied the entries. These were the exculpatory facts the CEO, the Manager’s immediate supervisor and the human resources director didn’t want to see, instead electing to crucify me on trumped-charges put forward by a cruel character―without appealing to their consciences and sense of fairness, of social justice.

The Manager was reprimanded and warned not to contact me again. However, she continued to contact me again and again for overtime as staff shortage at the Trumpian fleapit called for additional hands. Now I had become a sought-after employee, probably more important than ever, given that there seemed to be no staff ready to work the way I did to keep the place clean and in order. I called management again to report her for contacting me again and again in clear violation of the warnings. Instead, management tried to convince me to forgive her and to go over to the Trumpian fleapit whenever she contacted me to come over and help her keep the place clean and in order.

I stood my ground not to work with her anymore knowing her unbridled capacity for vindictiveness and ruthlessness, even going so far as to block her number for good. I agreed to work in the Trumpian fleapit only under a new Manager. She was both dangerous and unpredictable―like the spectral ghosts and vampirish shadows of Osama bin Laden. This woman could never be trusted even if she were God. “This evil genius tried to set you up for your total destruction and failed miserably,” the male staff told me. “She wants another opportunity to complete what she set in motion. Give her that opportunity again and she will fry you like the small fish that you are. Please don’t give her that opportunity. Ever!”

“I agree.”
I went to see the human resources director on September 20, 2017 a few months later for a letter Medicaid had been demanding from me. This letter read in part:

“Francis Kwarteng was hired as a full-time Residential Counselor, a direct care position for developmentally disabled adults and children on 2/9/16. His date of release was 6/11/17. He resigned with a proper notice and in good standing…”

Francis Kwarteng
Francis Kwarteng, © 2019

This author has authored 572 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: franciskwarteng

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